If you watch your cycling on Eurosport, you’ll be familiar with Sean Kelly’s expert analysis. The Irishman knows more than most about how to win a bike race, having amassed some impressive palmarès and racking up nearly 200 victories throughout his career. And now, us mere mortals have the chance to ride with one of cycling’s legends at next month’s new Down 100 ride in Northern Ireland.
The event, which takes place on Sunday 6 June, aims to raise funds for the charity Action Medical Research, and Strangford Lough provides the scenic backdrop to two routes of, respectively, 100 miles and 100 kilometres. Both itineraries follow quiet country roads amid a lansdscape liberally sprinkled with castles, loughs and far-off mountains.
For those too young to have witnessed his career, Kelly was one of the dominant forces in the peloton during the 1980s, a decade in which he won the points competition in the Tour de France four times, the overall title in the Vuelta once and the points competition in that race four times, Milan-San Remo, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Paris Roubaix and the Giro di Lombardia twice each, and Paris-Nice a staggering seven consecutive times.
The cyclist, who since 2007 has hosted his own Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford, is looking forward to riding the new event, saying: “I’m delighted to be taking part in the Down 100 to promote cycling and to support such a worthy cause such as Action Medical Research. Come along for the ride and help establish this great new event and raise much needed funds.”
Mark Trott, UK Cycling Development Manager at Action Medical Research, which has a particular focus on children’s health, added: “We are thrilled to have the legendry Sean Kelly joining us for this new event. The picturesque but challenging route offers a fantastic day’s ride with the added bonus of the chance to ride with cycling royalty.”
More information regarding the event, including how to enter, can be found on the Action Medical Health website, and entry costs £25 with participants asked to raise a minimum of £25 in sponsorship.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.